Having today been welcomed to Lancashire, it got us thinking about how many different counties we have travelled through to date, and the answer is 9.

Also to answer a question which several of you have been asking, we have been extremely lucky to date and the rain has left us alone. A slight drizzle on the day mentioned before and then light rain for the last 2 miles today!

We set off mentally prepared today as we knew we had a long ride with substantial climbs ahead of us, although we had also prepared ourselves for a little celebration at 8 miles as this was the 600th mile(half way stage).

The route took us around Clitheroe on lovely quiet roads through villages such as Waddington, Grindleton and Sawley before our first climb of the day which was quite a long steady one, at the top of which opened out to reveal a huge landscape lined with drystone walls, sheep and very weathered trees.

We didn’t know Lancashire was this vast and beautiful.

It was then speedily down to the village of Slaidburn where we found a lovely spot by the river to have our lunch.

And then the inevitable hill climb up out of the valley into the Forest of Bowland. Magnificent views across to the Yorkshire Dales and the peaks of the southern Lake District.

Coming in the opposite direction to us vintage and classic cars on the Pennine 1000 Rally passed us every few minutes.

The continuous climbing levelled out a bit and then dropped slightly through a wooded area and across a cattle grid from which we could see the vastness of the glacier formed landscape we were in and the immense challenge of the road ahead. Our 3rd big climb of the day was staring us in the face! The wind picked up and was blowing towards us and it turned chillier. The climb was unforgiving bordering on torturous and we wondered if when the bicycle was invented they imagined anyone would want to take on or want to do such a challenge! The views and feeling of isolation in such s huge landscape are beyond what we can describe, so if you ever have the chance, you should see it for yourself!

A waterfall when nearing the top of the last climb
Truly relieved to be at the toup of such a hard, hard climb!

We certainly enjoyed the downhill ride on the other side and decided to reward ourselves with a coffee in a little village called Wray where we chatted to a most delightful, friendly Lancashire lady. It turned out her parents had ridden a tandem in their younger days. (See photo below)

She wished us well as we rode away to our B&B in Borwick for the next 2 nights as tomorrow is a rest day!

Total Distance Today 47.5 miles

Total Hill climbs 3,643 ft

Such character!
Once a beautiful home!